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LOCAL NEWS BRIEFS

Company says it has solved emergency system problems

ALBANY -- The company testing a new statewide wireless emergency communications system in Western New York said Thursday, as expected, that it has solved the many problems state officials found with the network in Erie and Chautauqua counties.

M/A-COM said that its tests have been completed in the two counties and that it is now ready to be available to other counties around the state. At stake is a $2 billion contract for the company and an attempt by the state to improve emergency communications to prevent the kinds of mistakes encountered by first responders in the 2001 terrorist attacks and the 2006 manhunt in Western New York for fugitive Ralph Phillips.

The state, which in August found 19 flaws with the M/A-COM system that threatened to halt the entire project, will now retest the system in the two counties beginning Nov. 3. If it finds no problems, then local first responders will do their own testing in December.

M/A-COM in recent months has suggested the state could face litigation if it does not go through with the contract.

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Wodehouse organization to hold its first meeting

People in Western New York who love P.G. Wodehouse are holding an organizational meeting of a new group dedicated to Wodehouse appreciation Saturday in Clarence.

The date will allow the group to celebrate the 127th anniversary of the British writer's birth, Oct. 15, 1881, organizers said. The group will meet for lunch in Brick Oven Bistro at Eastern Hills Mall beginning at 12:30 p.m. For more information, e-mail PGWinWNY@yahoo.com or call 937-6346.

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Red Cross reports blood supply shortage

The Red Cross believes a blood supply shortage may be linked to economic malaise and the presidential race.

Currently, Red Cross officials report only a three-day supply overall and only a day's supply of Type O-negative blood -- the type most frequently requested by hospitals.

A list of donor centers and blood drives can be found at www.Donate
BloodNow.org. Those donating blood during October are eligible to win a high-definition TV valued at $1,000.

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Peruvian burn victim ready to return home

A Peruvian burn victim brought to Western New York by the Hope for Tomorrow Foundation to receive plastic surgery is getting ready to return home.

A going-away party for Yolanda Quispe Mamani, 22, was held Thursday evening in Dandelion's Restaurant, Amherst. Mamani, who is scheduled to return Saturday, underwent 6 1/2 hours of donated plastic surgery Sept. 29 to repair her face and upper torso. She also underwent eye surgery.

She was injured at a party in her hometown of Juliaca, where she suffered a seizure and fell into a fire pit, severely burning her face, neck and chest.

Dr. Jeffrey Meilman performed the plastic surgery in Kenmore Mercy Hospital.

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